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When Killer T ‘Killed’ The English Language-The Verdict

Social media is in overdrive. Dancehall god Killer T quite literally sentenced the English language to death in a BBC 1 Xtra interview wit...

Social media is in overdrive.

Dancehall god Killer T quite literally sentenced the English language to death in a BBC 1 Xtra interview with Kenyan born DJ Edu before carrying out the sentence by hanging the Queen’s language-all this with the audacity of committing this crime against Elizabeth’s language in Elizabeth’s own back yard in England no less.

But the question is to what extent should that even matter?

Opinions are deeply divided.

“Teach each other basic English before you get into interviews!” said one status update on Facebook by one Spekk Trumn Dhewa.

“I'm by nature someone who is solution driven rather than just someone who criticises... with that in mind, let's collectively identify WHAT went wrong for my brother Killer T in this interview and find a solution to stop this from happening again....” said Samantha Mussa.

While Mike Tashaya, after obviously cringing said; “This is just so embarrassing. Why?”

On the other hand, after observing the massacre of English on Muddy Island, Comic Pastor Prosper Ngomashi went on Facebook Live to defend the ghetto musician saying his command of the English language, or lack thereof, is neither here nor there.
Killer T and DJ Edu pose for a picture when the chanter went for the BBC 1Xtra interview in England recently 
My take?

Well the honest truth is that the command of English language by Killer T IS important but for different reasons. The more Killer T ‘mauls’ the English language the more he becomes a god in my eyes, and ears.

His English may have left our ears bleeding but let us remember we love Killer T not because he is a professor of the English language but rather a ghetto prophet who speaks the ghetto truth in song using his beloved Shona as a medium of communication.

You see, the beauty of the Killer T story is in that the more we see how poorly educated he was and how he had few opportunities in life then the better we appreciate the fact that anyone, from anywhere can make it in life if they have both a lucky break and work hard to achieve their goal.

Too many times the ‘good things and results’ in life have gone to Charmaine’s son and not Sthembeni’s children; the underprivileged have been scrubbing toilets and banging kombi doors for far too long.

Now, life has become not only fair but is slapping dead in the face the children of privilege.

That, and the fact that hard work, energy and tireless dedication, all marks that make Killer T a fairy-tale story of hope and inspiration, are now bearing fruit and being rewarded.

A child from Mbare, Kuwadzana Extension, Dzivaresekwa and Mukumbura, who had been told that they will never amount to anything because they do not have great command of the English language, itself not a barometer of intelligence, can now listen to Killer T speak like them on BBC and know that their foreign language command defect doesn’t make them any less of potential achievers.

But that does not put Killer T off the hook. Knowing that he was not that proficient, perhaps he should have known better and taken a more proficient sidekick than his manager who also is a master of the one word answer. To his credit, Killer T referred certain questions to his manager, who fell short of being the saviour of the situation.

When Killer T sought an Anglo-lingual messiah, his manager instead helped crucify him.

Perhaps though, the indictment on the manager shows that we need managers to be schooled on the art of guiding their artistes and also point towards the fact that artistes now need to consider having publicists.

Even in the Gonyeti debacle, Keen Mushapaidze who handles Jah Prayzah also didn’t do a good job which shows that a good manager is not necessarily a good spin doctor or publicist. There are many publicists in Zimbabwe whose mouths and fingers are lying fallow. It is time artistes and talent managers engaged them.

In the mean time we should all thank Killer T for speaking like the struggling kid and like the true ghetto prophet that he is, showing the ordinary kid that as long as they dream big and work hard, they can make their dreams come true.

Cheers to the man who may slip in speaking English but still collect a fat paycheque because of their inimitable talent. After all, Killer T akangodaro, akazvarwa akangodaro, haaregere kuita hunhu hwe ghetto!

Robert Mukondiwa Is A Private Citizen, Author of The Judas Files, Journalist, Media Anthropologist. Media Strategist. Thinker - Robert Mukondiwa